"The guest was very upset and we needed to retain her business somehow! So we waived her entire stay
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Case Study : How front office staff's ‘state’ can cause leaks in hotel’s revenue
Mid sized city hotel
At a recent training for the team of bustling city business hotel, the team cited this issue...that somehow seems to have become a repeating pattern.
The guest was very unhappy due to the weak WIFI and internet connection and strongly expressed (i.e yelled) her discontent at the front office team and threatened to pull out all business from this hotel.
The team panicked and reported the matter to the Sales Manager who was in charge the guest's business account.
The sales manager panicked at the negative review that would go up on Tripadvisor and the prospective loss of a lucrative business account (leading to loss of incentive for herself).
The Sales Manager yelled at IT for not providing efficient internet services to the guest and depended and waited on them to fix the problem.
To appease the guest, the Sales Manager waived off the entire stay value AND extended a 20% discount on the agreement for all future stays.
Net Result : UNHAPPY GUEST + REVENUE LOSS
We used the case as an example to work with on our 'Guest Perception' module and here's what came out.
The guest was on a business trip to the city and at times had to work from her hotel room to accommodate calls across different time zones.
She was scheduled to be on a conference call that morning when the internet services failed her, resulting in either being late or not being able to attend the call at all..... .....having further repercussion on 'her' credibility within her company and naturally she feeling insecure for her own job security (yes she would have justified it due to lack of connectivity but the fact is she felt failed)
She panicked and yelled at the staff who panicked and waived money off and still had an unhappy guest.
What the team learned via the training process was :
Instead of waiving the bill off, all the Sales Manager needed to do or could have done, was provide the guest with a dongle or alternative method / space at the hotel to use the internet, so she could have gotten on with her call.
While they did think of that option, they worried that the dongle could be stolen by hotel guests (still a small price compared to what they lost)
This would have achieved them 2 things:
Happy guest who would have recognised the effort by the hotel to accommodate her requirements and given a positive review
Hold onto the revenue.
Built loyalty with the guest's business account.
They however could only 'think' 💡 of this alternate solution in the training room as they were in a receptive state of mind...as against a panicked one when the guest was unhappy.
Is this a familiar situation in your hotel? Leave a comment below 👇